The Gustavus softball team combined clutch hitting with solid pitching to claim an important MIAC series sweep over Saint Mary’s by the scores of 3-2 and 4-3 in Winona on Thursday afternoon. Lisa Klass hit a three-run home run to spark the Gusties in game one, while Andrea Brown stroked a clutch two-out single to score Kirsten Prunty with the game-winning run in the fifth inning of game two. Betsie Collins was the winning pitcher in the first game and Erin Truebenbach was the winner on the mound in second game. Callie Nelsen was credited with a save in the second game.
In game one, Gustavus trailed 1-0 in the top of the fifth inning when Lisa Klass belted a clutch three-run home run to give the Gusties a 3-1 lead. The Cardinals scored another run in the bottom of the seventh inning to cut the lead to 3-2, but Betsie Collins closed out the Saint Mary’s rally and helped the Gusties claim the 3-2 win. Collins allowed four hits, while allowing one earned run and striking out nine.
In game two, the Gusties scored single runs in the first, third, fourth, and fifth innings to take a 4-0 lead, but the Cardinals rallied to score three times in the bottom of the fifth to pull within one run at 4-3. Callie Nelsen entered the game in relief of Erin Truebenbach in the sixth inning and shut the Cardinals out in the sixth and seventh innings to earn a save. Truebenbach was credited with the win. She allowed five hits and three earned runs in five innings of work. Jenny Ewert and Kirsten Prunty each contributed two hits for Gustavus, while Jenna Johnson hit a solo home run as the leadoff hitter in the fourth inning.
Gustavus will host St. Thomas in a doubleheader that will likely determine the regular season MIAC champion on Saturday at noon.